Sunday, March 15, 2015

Residents: Detective's car struck woman near crosswalk

The blood of a 64-year-old woman staining the pavement, right, on Kennedy Street and Jackson Avenue in Hackensack amid markings left by investigators last Monday after the pedestrian was fatally injured by a lawman's unmarked car. The "RR" marking, left, indicates the car's rear tire stopped inside the Jackson Avenue crosswalk, shown in the photo below. The blood-stain photo was taken by a resident of the neighborhood the night of the accident.

The proximity of the bloodstain to the corner of Kennedy Street and Jackson Avenue, and the crosswalk, above, appears to be at variance with the account that appeared on Wednesday in The Record, which quoted Capt. Nicole Foley of the Hackensack police. I tried to reach Foley on Friday, but she didn't respond to a message left on her voice mail. This photo was taken today and the woman's blood is no longer visible.

"LR," "LF" and "RR" are markings that indicate where the tires of the Ford Crown Victoria were when the vehicle stopped on Monday about 4:45 p.m. after striking Hue Dang, whose plastic grocery bags were strewn on the pavement after the accident, according to residents who live nearby. She was pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center less than an hour later.


People who live near the Hackensack corner where a 64-year-old woman was struck and fatally injured last Monday afternoon question why the prosecutor's detective driving the car was not charged.

Photographs taken by residents and supplied to Eye on The Record appear to contradict the single story that quoted Hackensack police and appeared in The Record on Wednesday.

The Woodland Park daily reported John Straniero, 49, of Wayne, a detective sergeant with the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, had stopped his 2011 Ford Crown Victoria for the stop sign on Jackson Avenue and Kennedy Street.

"When he made a right turn onto Kennedy, police said, his car struck the woman," according to the story, which was done by telephone.

"It's unclear where Dang was standing," the story said. "[Capt. Nicole] Foley said there were no witnesses."

But the woman's blood stained the pavement very close to the corner, and the unmarked car's right rear tire stopped in the Jackson Avenue crosswalk, so Straniero doesn't appear to have "made a right turn," as the story reported.

The story doesn't even mention the crosswalk, and the reporter apparently didn't ask police if the victim was in the crosswalk when she was struck.

In that story, Staff Writer Stefani Dazio quoted Foley of the Hackensack police as saying "the traffic fatality appears to be the result of an accident," and that "she [Foley] did not anticipate criminal charges or motor vehicle charges being filed against Straniero."

But people who live nearby question why police said there were no witnesses.

Neighbors say the streets are usually packed with drivers heading home during the afternoon rush hour, and that Jackson Avenue is a shortcut to Kennedy Street and the ramps to Route 80 east and west.

One resident speculated Straniero, the detective, was looking at his phone and didn't see the woman crossing in front of his car, possibly in the Jackson Avenue crosswalk, before he struck her.

Today's paper

Why did The Record wait so many years before tackling the issue of campus rape in New Jersey, as the editors do in today's lead Page 1 story.

In her first tedious paragraph, Staff Writer Mary Jo Layton cites "the epidemic of sexual assaults among students" (A-1).

"Among students"? 

Hey, Mary Jo, aren't you talking mostly about men victimizing women? Why pussy foot around the assaults, which many college administrators try to keep quiet?

Also on Page 1 today, Columnist Charles Stile regurgitates another column on Governor Christie's "right turn" the reporter apparently has on a save-get key now that the GOP bully is likely to run for president (A-1).

And would you look at that gee-whiz front-page photo of wealthy people's yachts wrecked by a cyclone in the middle of nowhere (A-1). What a waste of space.

Defective reporters

Road Warrior John Cichowski still doesn't get that the biggest problem faced by drivers and other commuters is increasing traffic congestion and the lack of mass transit in North Jersey (L-1).

Meanwhile, on the Better Living cover today, Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung uses her Sunday column to build up the image of an organizer of food events and festivals, as well as celebrity chefs.

The schizophrenic reporter supposedly represents restaurant goers in her Friday fine-dining reviews, then, on Sundays, completely turns her back on the issues that concern them.

On the Opinion front, a photo of Mike Kelly's shit-eating grin appears next to a notice:

"Record Columnist Mike Kelly is off." 

Way off.

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